Matt & I have wanted to visit Nepal for a really long time but for one reason or another it hadn’t worked out until this year. Even then it was quite last minute with us only booking our flights in February, for a March departure; but we made it and lived to tell the tale!
We decided to pull Eden out of school for this trip, as opposed to working it around Spring Break in April and a big part of that was because we wanted to be in Nepal for the annual Holi celebrations. I am SO pleased we decided to do this.
Our family landed into bustling Kathmandu on a Saturday thinking Holi was on Monday but quickly realized it was actually the following day (it is celebrated on different days depending which country or even region you are in).
What is Holi? In a nutshell it is a Hindu festival in India and Nepal which marks the arrival of Spring by celebrating with color; it is often referred to as the Festival of Color and has been around for a LONG time and can be dated back as far as the 4th century where it was documented in poetry.
For me, Holi was just a great excuse for friends and strangers to come together and act like big kids and have a giant paint and water fight!
We donned our whites and hit the streets early in the day before people started playing but it was great because it gave us a chance to walk the streets of Thamel even making it down to the Old Town. Whilst walking people were selling color which we stocked up on so that we were already to play when the time came.
Since Holi is a national holiday lots of people weren’t at school or work and around 10am people started playing. This was also the time we headed back to the hotel to drop my camera off because I didn’t want to risk it getting damaged, so I only have before and after photos but I think you can get the idea of how ridicoulsly fun it was!
We walked the streets with powdered hands and whenever we came across people we would simply color their face or clothes with a friendly “Happy Holi” and they would do the same. Others would fill water balloons with a little colored powered and throw them at you or even squirt you with water guns; like I said it was a huge color/water fight!
While I knew to expect this, the first time I got targeted I wasn’t quite prepared for it….getting buckets of cold (and dirty!) water thrown on you from apartments & balconies above. Some people even had hoses out.
Eden absolutely LOVED Holi, Clio did not! I think Clio found it hard because everyone wanted to get her and squeeze her wee cheeks which was quite intimidating, having said that she enjoyed the water part!
They also have music and other festivities but since I had heard these can get out of hand we decided to stay away and just stick to walking around Thamel.
It was so neat watching Eden interact with a variety of people from young kids to adults, Nepalese to people from all over the world and it was definitely a great way to start our Nepali adventure!